December 2004, Volume 15, Number 11
Bold, Outrageous, Wild
Bold design, outrageous colour and wild texture were the key attributes sought in Timaru’s New Zealand Hair Art Awards, run in November...
Hair art is the latest in a string of creative events New Zealand communities have initiated as a means of stimulating economic development.
“It’s unique,” says Central South Island Tourism events and conference manager Philip Brownie. “We’ve found no other event like it in the world.”
The awards, run in conjunction with Timaru’s annual Festival of Roses (pictured), were billed as “perhaps the world’s first creative design competition that mixes artistic design and sculpting with hair styling.” Artists and stylists were encouraged to combine to create vibrant living works of art.
Entries could contain material or products, but the finished design had to use at least 50 percent hair and be able to be self-supported by the model. Entry was open to amateur artists and professionals (www.festivalofroses.co.nz).
“Last year we got designs encompassing fruit bowls, reindeer antleers and wire. We want it to be creative in thinking and fun to look at.”
The event is one of the spinoffs of the regional tourism association’s wider arts strategy. The project has received support and advice from the Community Employment Group.
“More and more visitors coming to the region are looking to experience local art.”
The association has created a database of artists and craftspeople which it soon hopes to make available to the tourism sector through a website. It is also working with artists and craftspeople to help them enhance their businesses through better promotion, signage and brochure display. Aoraki Development Trust is assisting with training in specific business skills and maximising business opportunities.
“This is about increasing economic development and social benefits to the community. We can promote our rivers, mountains and lakes, but we can also promote our local businesses.”
Seventy-five arts and crafts businesses from throughout Timaru, Waimate, Fairlie and the MacKenzie are now on the database, which has also proved useful for industries seeking artists, such as the film sector.
The Festival of Roses, run by a local trust, aims to celebrate summer in Timaru, and encompasses garden tours and workshops.
CEG fieldworker Danny Gresham says that an essential element in attracting people to the region is the “vibrancy we project.
“This event is an integrated programme designed to strengthen and develop the understanding of enterprise, the arts economy in our region, artistic skills required and the support structures that are available.”